Saturday, January 9, 2016

Top Veterinary Article of the Week: Making Veterinary Visits Better, Pets and Cigarette Smoke, and more ...

10 Things You Can Do to Make Veterinary Visits Better for Everyone
Dr. Justine Lee/Dr. Justine Lee

For many dogs, and their humans, veterinary visits are a horrifying experience. Emotions run high, memory and reasoning go out the window.

We have been lucky that, with exception of Roxy, all our dogs did and do love going to the vet. Even Jasmine did, in spite of all the horrible things she's gone through. Somehow they know that they go there to be helped. And all the attention, affection and treats don't hurt matters either.

Even though I have been to the vet's more times than I'd even like to count, I do believe in being prepared. I make notes, lists of questions. I prepare digest of my dog's medical record if I'm seeing somebody new.

Once we had a conversation with Jasmine's integrative vet and she was talking about how she needs to learn how much her clients will tell her and how much she needs to ask questions. "With you," she said, "I know you'll tell me everything." I do tell everything because one never knows what is or isn't relevant. I get ready.

Dr. Lee has a list really helpful tips, do check them out. I consider those natural but you might find some new ways of making veterinary visits better for you, your dog, and your veterinarian.

Pets and Cigarette Smoke
Dr. Nancy Kay/Spot Speaks

There has been a lot of talk about the effects of second- and third-hand smoke on pets. It's not that nobody knew that it was bad for them before. But new research is being done and it doesn't bring good news. Some of the findings why being in a smoking environment is actually even worse for pets than for other humans or even kids has to do with the amount of exposure because of proximity (pets don't leave the house to go to school, or to work) and self-grooming habits. Which makes it that much worse for cats.

Kicking the habit is not easy. We weren't able to so far. We do smoke outside only. I was hoping that winter temperatures of -40 degrees Celsius might get us to quit but they did not. Hard to tell what would do it for us. Nothing we've tried so far, that's for sure.

Lab Services: What clients need to know about the internal organs of their vets practice
Dr. Krista Magnifico/Diary of a Real-life Veterinarian

At one time or another, our dogs underwent most of the diagnostic procedures available with exception of MRI. Lab work and advanced diagnostics come into play when plain eyes and hands are not enough to find out what is going on. Some can be done right at the clinic, some gets sent out to specialized places.

If you're like me, you're familiar with all the procedures, might even understand the results.

Dr. Magnifico offers a unique peek behind the scenes, the internal organs of a veterinary practice, as she calls it.

Raw Dog Food: How to Properly Store and Prepare
Dr. Patrick Mahaney/PetMD

More and more people are turning to raw food for their dogs. I think that's awesome, as long as done properly. For a long time I was reluctant to take the plunge. But as Cookie made that choice for herself, I figured it was time to go with the flow.

When feeding raw, there are some important points to keep in mind. It's important that even though raw, your dog's diet is still complete and balanced. The other aspect is storage and handling.

Read Dr. Patrick's recommendations on safely storing and handling your dog's raw food.

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